You’ve completed your nursing program, and now you’re ready to ace your interview. Whether you’re applying for a position in one of the big hospitals in the city or a smaller clinic in the outer boroughs, job interviews can be nerve-wracking. It can feel like you’re in the hot seat with the hiring team asking all the questions. But, at the end of the interview, they’ll likely ask you if you have questions, and that’s an opportunity you don’t want to skip.
Asking questions shows that you are prepared, engaged, and interested in the position. Hiring managers want passionate candidates who genuinely want to work in their facility. Your questions are also a chance for you to learn more about the job and determine whether it’s right for you.
What should you ask? One of your goals in a nursing interview is to figure out what kind of work culture you’ll be entering and what will be expected of you. Keep in mind, if the hiring team has already covered the information earlier in the interview or in the job description, it’s better to skip a particular question. Asking for information you already have makes you look less prepared.
Depending on the type of information the hiring team has provided, you might want to think in terms themes. Do you need more insight into the work culture? Are the duties not spelled out clearly? What kind of team would you work on and how do they integrate with other teams? It’s important to prepare your questions in advance, but you may need to think on the fly during the interview in case information is provided along the way.
Here are 15 questions to get you started. But don’t limit yourself if you notice information gaps during the interview. Perhaps the hiring team explained job duties thoroughly but didn’t talk at all about the team’s culture. That might be the place to focus your questions.
- What qualities are you looking for in a nurse?
- What professional traits do your successful nurses have in common?
- What are some of the challenges this nursing team faces?
- How does this position solve those challenges?
- What are one or two pieces of advice you’d give a nurse new to your team?
- How do the nurses describe the management style here?
- What does a typical shift look like for this position?
- What medical records system will I be using?
- Who will I be reporting to?
- What are the on-call or weekend rotation requirements, if any?
- What is your overtime policy?
- Does this nursing unit offer a mentorship program?
- What kind of staffing ratio do you have? (This can indicate whether nurses might be overworked.)
- What opportunities do you offer for continuing education?
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
That last question demonstrates you’re still interested in the job. You may learn you’ll be notified by email or phone, and whether to expect additional interviews before the hiring team makes a decision about the position.
Looking to take the first step in your nursing education? St. Paul’s School of Nursing—with campuses in Queens and Staten Island—can get you on the right path with a quality education. Visit the Nursing page on our website, or call (855) 822-3018 for more information or to schedule a campus tour.